Free Garmin Map Management Programs
Garmin has several map management programs that can greatly assist you in getting the most out of your GPS. These free programs include, MapInstall, BaseCamp and MapSource.
What is Garmin MapInstall?
Garmin MapInstall is a simple map management wizard that enables you to select and combine maps located on your computer and download them to your GPS. We recommend that you combine our transparent snowmobile or ATV trail maps with a topographic background map. MapInstall is a simple and quick way to accomplish this. You can get Garmin MapInstall for free from Garmin here. We describe how to use MapInstall to combine our trail maps with other maps and download them to your GPS here. You can get free non-routing topographical maps here.
What is BaseCamp?
BaseCamp is Garmin's premier GPS map and data management tool that runs on either Windows or Macintosh computers.
BaseCamp will display any Garmin format map that you have installed on you computer, including our ATV and snowmobile trail maps, free topographic maps, and other maps you purchase from Garmin. If you use one of our smart micro-sd cards which include a integrated trail and topographic map, you can display and use a combined trail and topographic map by connecting your GPS to a computer running BaseCamp.
BaseCamp can be used to manage your your favorite waypoints, tracks logs (where you have ridden), and create custom routes. It is a great tool to pre-plan an expedition, and document your actual travels. It enables you to upload waypoints, tracks and routes from your GPS for storage to your computer, or to download from your computer to your GPS.
BaseCamp manages Garmin's BirdsEye satellite images for those newer GPS models that support it.
You can import geo-tagged photos you take with your smart phone, and display them on a map at the location where you took them. You can also use Google-Earth to geographically align scanned paper map images and display them as map overlays. These can then be downloaded to your GPS.
It also has a 3d map display mode that will show map features wrapped on a 3d terrain model. This 3d display requires a map that includes digital elevation model (DEM) data, such as Garmin's TOPO US 2008 or 24K TOPOs.
What is Garmin MapSource?
Garmin MapSource is Garmin's older map and GPS data management program. It is similar to BaseCamp in many ways, but has fewer features and is therefore somewhat simpler to use. Those who have used older Garmin Handheld GPS models are probably already familiar with MapSource. Our Trail maps and free topographic programs are compatible with MapSource. MapSource only runs on Windows PC's and not on Macintosh.
MapSource can be used to select multiple maps, combine them into a single file, and then download them to your GPS internal storage or micro-sd card. Like BaseCamp, it can be used to edit, upload and download user track logs, waypoints and routes. Like BaseCamp it has a routing tool you can use to create your own custom routes.
MapSource program updates can be downloaded for free from Garmin's site, but updates will not install unless you have previously installed a version of MapSource on your computer. One way to fulfill this "previous install requirement" is to first download and install the free Garmin BaseCamp program. Then, download and install the free MapSource Update. From that point on, you should have a working copy of both BaseCamp and MapSource. You can uninstall BaseCamp and still use MapSource if you decide not to use BaseCamp.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure to re-boot you computer after installing MapSource. It will be unable to make a connection between you Computer and your GPS until you do.